A search and rescue operation is under way for a hunter in the Dundas Ridge area of the Tararua Forest Park.

The park is located west of Masterton and south of Palmerston North.

The beacon was set off at around 11.43am and the rescue co-ordination centre alerted Police.

It was too windy for a helicopter as winds of up to 135km/h had been reported in the area.

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A search and rescue operation was under way and a SAR team of five is heading to the area. The tramp takes around five hours.